By Sean Na / Feb 25, 2020
JEFFERSON CITY — A Republican lawmaker wants to pass a bill that would exempt religious private schools from having to pay their hourly waged workers at least the Missouri minimum wage.
Several Democrats oppose the bill, with one of them calling it “offensive” and “ridiculous.”
People work at private schools because they want to serve students, said state Rep. Tim Remole, R-Exello, the main sponsor of House Bill 1559. Forcing the schools to pay at least minimum wage to their employees would impose a financial burden and force them to delay school projects essential to serve their students, Remole said Tuesday during debate in the House.
Missouri’s minimum wage is $9.45 an hour, and it’s scheduled to increase by 85 cents every year until it reaches $12 an hour in 2023. Employers aren’t required to pay their employees the minimum wage if they are a charitable or religious organization, according to state law.